South Tyrol in summer
I was instantly enchanted! The environment was simply captivating. As I shared my enthusiastic tales, South Tyrol promptly earned its spot on the must-visit list for our European road trip. Discovering a splendid campsite, just a half-hour’s drive from Bolzano, became our perfect hub for exploring the surroundings.
South Tyrol is found in northern Italy, in the southern Alps. The area is best known for the Dolomite mountain range. Typical of the imposing mountain range are the steep cliffs and peaks.
When you go to South Tyrol, you go on an adventure. In winter you can go skiing, cross-country skiing, sledding or tobogganing and in summer you can go hiking, biking, climbing or swimming. Although more and more people are finding this beautiful area, South Tyrol is certainly still an undiscovered gem in Europe. Even in high season you can enjoy plenty of peace and quiet.
In this article
- To do
- Travel time
- Practical information
- The nicest accommodations
- How do I get there?
- Our opinion
What to do in South Tyrol
While reading up on South Tyrol in the summer, I came across pictures of the mountain peak Seceda several times. What a picture. We decided we had to visit the mountain no matter what. The mountain is found in the middle of the Dolomites at the foot of the Parco Naturale Cisles-Odle at 2518 altitude. A cable car will take you to the top, where you can go on the most magnificent hikes. Do take a whole day for it, as the area is huge.
More information about our Seceda hike will follow soon!
A little further north you will find Val Gardena, this the hiking destination of Italy. In this area you can enjoy wonderful walks, bike rides or climbs with the most breathtaking views. In the mountains surrounding Val Gardena, there is something for everyone!
Seiser Alm is near bozen and Seceda. This area is also perfect for if you are looking for an active vacation destination. In fact, in this region you will find the largest mountain pasture in Italy where you will have an amazing view of the Dolomites. The area is also hugely popular as a winter sports destination.
Visit the region’s capital: Bozen
Bozen or Bolzano is the capital of the South Tyrol region. Although we did not get bored with the beautiful scenery, it was secretly quite a nice change to visit a city for a while . Enjoying the sunshine on the terrace, the crowds, culinary delights, sniffing culture and occasionally popping into a nice boutique. Bozen has an enormous amount to offer.
An article with the best tips for Bozen will follow soon.
Also fun to do in South Tyrol:
- Take a trip to the beautiful lake Lago di Braies
- Admire the imposing Drei Zinnen. Surely the image of the Dolomites.
- Foodies beware! In fact, near Bozen you will find a wine route. You can drive or bike the route yourself, but it’s also fun to book a tour. The South Tyrolean Wine Route is the oldest in Italy!
- Enjoying culinary delights. What many people do not know is that South Tyrol has the highest concentration of starred restaurants in Italy. The food there is divine!
- The really active ones go do the mountain hiking route Meraner Höhenweg. This hike of about 100 km long is one of the most beautiful routes in the Alps, according to many.
- For ski lovers, there is the Sellaronda ski tour. In total, the round is 26 km long, but you can add an extra bit to your route at various points.
- Dive into the wellness !
Transportation in South Tyrol
The best way to discover South Tyrol is by car or motorhome. If you are going to fly, you can rent a car at the airport. The mountains in South Tyrol are quite rugged, take care of your car before leaving and when renting a car, choose a somewhat sturdy model.
Which budget do i need in South Tyrol?
Yes South Tyrol is beautiful, but there is also a teeny tiny downside to the region, namely it is not very cheap. Campgrounds and accommodations in particular are often terribly expensive. In high season, they easily charge 40 to 60 euros per night for RV spot. Activities in the area also tend to be quite pricey. But if you look carefully and occasionally eat at your RV, you can still visit the area on a small budget.
Our budget in South Tyrol:
- Motorhome spot 25 euros per night
- Food and drink: 20 – 30 per meal for 2 people
- Activities: 20 – 40 euros per person (for Seceda we paid about 80 euros for 2 people and a dog)
- Groceries are similar to the Netherlands.
- Gasoline prices are also similar to the Netherlands.
- Public transportation: about 2 euros per person for a one-way ticket (30 minutes)
On average we spent about 85 – 100 euros per day, We did go out to eat almost daily (lunch + dinner) and we took the cable car in Bozen and visited the mountain peak Seceda, among other places.
Practical information about South Tyrol
- For the nicest camping spot, we always use the app Park4night & camper contact
- Receive discounts on campsites in the early or late season with ACSI discount card.
- Is your faithful four-legged friend going on vacation with you. Then make sure you have the proper vaccinations, Chip and deworming pills.
- In addition, it is mandatory to carry a muzzle in public places and some dog breeds are not allowed.
- In Italy, many stores, restaurants and supermarkets are often closed at noon. Something we forgot almost every day.
Practical tips for the car
- If you drive an old diesel, you are not allowed to drive just anywhere in Italy. Environmental zones are indicated by signs reading zona a traffico limitato
- On narrow mountain roads, ascending traffic always has the right of way over descending traffic unless the ascending vehicle is closer to a lay-by.
- In the mountains, don’t use your brakes too much, but try to slow down on your bike.
- The same obligations apply in the car as in the Netherlands. So bring safety jacket and warning triangle!
- Avoid toll roads! Travel nice and slow and take mostly inland roads, that way you’ll see something.
- Are you coming from Slovenia or Croatia, like us? Then check current gasoline prices in advance. This can sometimes make a big difference.
- The mountains in South Tyrol can be quite violent for your car, bus or motorhome. Surely a minor service before departure is wise. In addition, make sure you always carry enough engine oil and coolant and always check before you leave to see if anything might need refilling.
What are nice places to stay in South Tyrol?
Campsites in South Tyrol
In the mountains we saw several campers, who I think stayed overnight. This is also fine in my opinion, since you are not bothering anyone, but officially wild camping is not allowed.
So we decided to stay a few nights at the RV site of montiggl campground. Although a spot in the campground costs something like + 50 euros per night, the RV spot costs only 25 euros. It is not really a charming, green campground, but the place is perfect and, above all, very luxurious. So there is a nice little restaurant where you could eat very well and where we worked a few times during the day.
Hotels in South Tyrol
In winter I stayed a few nights the very fine La Casies in Gsies. Truly a wonderful accommodation, with great food, beautiful rooms and wonderful wellness. Fat tip! Here are a few more great accommodations for South Tyrol.
How to get to South Tyrol?
By car to South Tyrol
By car, it is about an 11-hour drive to Bozen. With an old bus, camper or caravan, you can safely add a few hours to this. We especially recommend combining South Tyrol by car with other destinations, such as Germany or Austria. We had been on the road for a while, coming from Slovenia. Not daring to go directly into the mountains, we decided to stop at Venice and Trento first.
Flying to South Tyrol
It is also possible to fly to South Tyrol from the Netherlands. Most people fly into Innsbruck or Venice. At the airport, you can then rent a car. It is also possible to take public transportation, but to explore the area, a car is still recommended.